Browsing From the desk of Fr. Tharp

January 2, 2022 - The Epiphany of the Lord

Next Sunday:  Baptism of the Lord        Celebrant :  Fr. Tharp



I am told that unsuspecting parishioners have received texts, emails, and telephone solicitations (some mimicking my voice) asking for a “favor.”  Be assured, it is NOT ME!  All such messages are a SCAM.  I promise that you will never receive any such messages from me, so if you receive one, do not even answer it.  Delete any such message as I assure you I will NEVER contact you for a favor unless I am speaking to you physically in front of you at church.  Don’t be fooled by these criminals. 


Anniversary of Roe vs Wade


In 1973 (January 22 to be precise) the U.S. Supreme Court decided Roe versus Wade and effectively legitimized the practice of aborting unborn children in the United States.  Forty nine years later, pro-life Christians gather to pray for a return to justice and the adherence to God’s law that all human life is sacred and should be respected.  The morning Mass on Saturday, January 22 will focus on prayer for the legal protection of unborn children. 


Synod 2021-2023


(The Archdiocesan coordinator for the Worldwide Synod on Synodality has asked that this be posted in all bulletins:


The Holy Father has called a synod inviting ALL the Baptized to come together to discuss and discern how we can walk together in accomplishing the Mission of the Church. He wants ALL those who make up the Church to participate: elderly, youth, religious orders, clergy, lay faithful, poor, disabled, divorced, migrants, those who no longer practice the faith, etc.   It is my understanding that the gathering for our deanery is scheduled for Saturday, January 22 at Queen of Peace Church in Millville.  More specifics to follow in the New Year.   Questions?  Please feel free to contact the Archdiocese at www.catholicaoc.org/synod.


Reminder for volunteers who work with or around children


If you are a volunteer classroom parent in the school, a coach, drama club volunteer, scout volunteer, etc.  please note that you should have been moved to the Safe Parish program.  Fulfillment of this requirement is mandatory for anyone working with children.  Please contact your parish safe environment coordination if you are uncertain whether you are registered or approved. 


Please be aware that failure to register with and complete the requirements of Safe Parish will result in your inability to continue to work with or around children in any parish and/or school setting.  We have been informed by the Archdiocese that there can be NO EXCEPTIONS.


Live Streaming a precept Mass from St. Ann and Sacred Heart each week

Since I live stream both the 4:00 p.m. at Sacred Heart and the 5:15 p.m. at St. Ann; I usually manage to live stream both, but on rare occasions the internet is out at one or the other location.   If this happens, be assured that I will make every effort to correct the malfunction before the next weekend.

Please remember to access the Sacred Heart / St. Ann Pastoral Region You Tube site by clicking on the following link:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVLLqbEY5hKWinwz069MVcg

Reflection on Scripture:

The word “Epiphany” is used to mean a startling awakening or realization.  In Christian tradition, it is used to remind us of the story of the Magi reported in Matthew’s Gospel.  But the real reason Matthew used the story of the Magi in his gospel was to assure the Jewish people that the whole world is coming to recognize Jesus as the Son of God and Savior of the World, while Israel was being left behind.


In the Book of Genesis, the first book of the Bible, after the great flood, Noah had three sons.  Shem became the father of the people in Europe, Ham became the father of the people of Africa, and Japheth became the father of the people of Asia.  For Matthew therefore, the Magi represent all the people throughout the whole world coming to recognize Jesus as Son of God and Savior of the world.  From Matthew’s perspective, his brethren (the Jewish people) need to jump on the bandwagon and believe in Jesus.


Therefore whether we have Jewish lineage or not; Epiphany is our feast when all the people through-out the whole world, without regard to race or ethnicity, color or culture, proclaim Jesus as our Lord and Savior.  There is one faith, one hope, one baptism; and only one Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  Throw all dissention and bigotry away; for we are one humanity, one Church in the Body of Christ. 




Is 40:1-5, 9-11

Ti 2:11-14, 3:4-7

Lk 3:15-16, 21-22


Theme:   Reborn in Baptism



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